Anything can happen, so your website needs to be protected when it does.
Your website is the face of your business and the engine that powers it. Despite the obvious importance, some companies don’t give website backups the same priority as the file and application backups used to prevent data loss or service interruptions.
The rise of online commerce is a big reason there are now over 1 billion websites in existence. With so many options, consumers have little patience for sites that perform poorly—and an outage can spell doom for small businesses already struggling to compete.
Regular website backups are the key to avoiding this worst-case scenario. Let’s take a closer look at what these backups involve and the reasons they are so important.
What is a website backup?
Website backups are typically part of an optional service package offered by hosting services. The customer chooses the frequency of the backups to minimise the impact on services while optimizing protection. Each website backup should capture as much current website data as possible and store it in a separate location/server from the active website.
Files that should be part of a website backup include:
- Core files: These are essential files that control the function of the website.
- Configuration files: These files let you customise the way the site or specific directories within the site behave.
- Themes: This file type establishes the front end (overall look and feel) of the website.
- Customer data: When customers interact with your website, data is collected and stored. Preserving and protecting this data is essential.
Why do you need a website backup?
The primary benefit of regular website backups is the peace of mind you gain from knowing your site can be restored at any time, but there are additional positives. Here are some of the reasons website backups are so important:
75% of data loss is caused by human error, and this can happen at any time. You might be performing a routine website update and mistakenly delete a critical file. Or you might make a seemingly harmless change that impacts the function of the website for no apparent reason.
It’s nice to know you always have the option to press the “undo” button and restore your website to its previous state.
Websites Can Break
Do websites really break? Unfortunately, yes. In fact, scores of websites break unexpectedly each day. This can be caused by plugins and themes conflicting, routine site updates, connectivity issues, and dozens of other factors that are beyond our control. Backing up a website consistently ensures it won’t stay broken for long.
Protection From Hackers and Malware
Every minute, four companies fall victim to ransomware attacks. Even with updated antivirus software and firewalls in place, malicious software (malware) is a constant threat to website integrity. Spyware can be used to steal sensitive customer data, and dangerous ransomware can put your website (and company) at the mercy of hackers if you are not completing regular website backups. Hacking and malware attacks have moved website backups from the nice-to-have category to the essential maintenance list.
We perform regular backups on our computers to protect our documents and photos in case of a hard drive crash. The same logic should be applied to website backups. Protecting against computer crashes requires you to back up the website data outside of your computer’s memory.
Leveraging the cloud for website backups is a recommended path. Cloud computing brings the benefits of speed, redundancy, and security, which make it easier to retrieve your website backup data when necessary.
Ease of Migration
Ideally, you would stay with your original website host indefinitely and never have to worry about website migration. In reality, inadequate loading speeds, unexplained downtime, and poor customer service experiences lead to some musical chairs among website clients and hosts.
Having current backup files for your website makes it easier to migrate to a new host without disrupting live website activity. It also provides a layer of security if important files are lost or corrupted during the migration process.
Uninterrupted Operation and Revenue Stream
What do these key benefits of website backups have in common? They all protect your business from operational or service interruptions that can impact your bottom line. The average downtime costs across all businesses is estimated to be as much as $13,000 per minute.
Lost revenue during a single incident or service interruption is just the tip of the iceberg. Discriminating customers are unlikely to give a website a second chance when an outage or performance issue leads to a bad first impression. That makes website backups essential for safeguarding your brand value.
Need help backing up your website?
If you want more information about the safest and most efficient ways to back up your website, we are here to help. Give us a call today to schedule a chat about website backup and protection processes.